US-based Cerevance has secured $47m in Series B-1 extension funding to finance the upcoming Phase III trial for its lead therapy, CVN424.

The financiers included multiple US-based venture capital firms such as Google Ventures, Agent Capital, Bioluminescence Ventures, and Double Point Ventures.

CVN424 is a non-dopamine therapy that inhibits G protein-coupled receptor 6 (GPR6), which is an orphan receptor as it has no naturally produced agonist that activates the receptor. The GPR6 inhibition can potentially improve motor and non-motor manifestations of Parkinson’s. The drug was discovered using Cerevance’s NETSseq (Nuclear Enriched Transcript Sort sequencing) platform.

CVN424 is being evaluated in a placebo-controlled Phase II ASCEND trial (NCT06006247) in patients with early untreated Parkinson’s. The study is expected to enrol approximately 62 participants and conclude in February 2025, as per In February, Cerevance raised $51m in Series B to fund the Phase II trial.

The primary endpoint of the study is CVN424’s ability to improve Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms and the impact of those symptoms on activities of daily living. This is measured by Parts II and III of the Movement Disorder Society’s Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) after 12 weeks of administration. The trial is expected to inform the design for the Phase III study.

The therapies for Parkinson’s disease are expected to generate $6.3bn in sales across the seven major markets, including the US, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, as per the GlobalData analysis.

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Cerevance’s pipeline consists of other central nervous system therapies including CVN293, a KCNK13 potassium channel inhibitor. It is being developed as a potential treatment for neurodegenerative conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and frontotemporal dementia. CVN293 is being evaluated in healthy volunteers in a Phase I trial, with topline data expected in the second quarter of this year.

CVN766 is a selective antagonist of the orexin 1 receptor. Cerevance is developing the drug for various psychiatric conditions including schizophrenia, anxiety/panic, binge eating/obesity, substance use disorder, and Prader-Willi Syndrome. Another therapy in Cerevance’s pipeline is CVN293, which inhibits potassium efflux in the glia (non-neuronal cells in the brain), thereby, regulating the inflammasome in individuals living with neurodegenerative diseases.